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University of Iowa News Release

 

March 20, 2007

Orhon And Huckleberry Will Play Rescheduled Recital April 2

Volkan Orhon, double bass professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, will play three sonatas originally written for other instruments when he presents a faculty recital with pianist Alan Huckleberry at 8 p.m. Monday, April 2, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

This is a rescheduled date for a performance originally set for Feb. 3. The performance will be free and open to the public.

For double bass players, performing works written for other instruments is not unusual. Until recently, very little solo music was written for the bass, so players who want to explore the instrument's expressive possibilities must look outside the bass repertoire and adapt music written for other instruments.

"Bass players are always in the search for music that is written for other instruments," Orhon said. "We all make transcriptions, or arrangements, for the bass. It's something I do, and I encourage my students to do the same."

The three instruments for which Orhon's program was originally written are the horn, the cello and an unusual stringed instrument called the arpeggione. The three pieces are Beethoven's Horn Sonata in F major, op. 17; Schubert's Sonata in A minor for arpeggione; and Edvard Grieg's Sonata in A minor for cello and piano.

"I played Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata about 12 or 13 years ago," Orhon said. "When Alan mentioned it to me I discovered that we both love the piece, and so there was no question about it: We decided to go for it. The Beethoven and the Grieg are both brand new pieces for me, and I am excited to learn and include them in my repertoire."

Beethoven wrote his Horn Sonata in 1800 for a concert appearance with the traveling horn virtuoso Johann Wenzel Stich, who performed as "Giovanni Punto." Beethoven and Punto performed the sonata together in Vienna in April, and in Pest, Hungary, in May. An acclaimed performer who had also received works from Mozart, Punto was a prolific composer as well, completing 11 horn concertos and numerous chamber works for his own use.

An almost forgotten instrument, the arpeggione enjoyed a brief life in the early 19th century. Invented in Vienna in 1824, it was a hybrid string instrument, a bass viol with guitar-like metal frets embedded in the arched fingerboard and with six strings tuned like a guitar. It had a guitar-shaped body but was played like the cello.

Schubert wrote his sonata for the arpeggione in November of 1824 for Vincenz Schuster, who was probably history's only professional arpeggione player. Although the playing technique is necessarily different, due to the different arrangement of strings, modern cellos and basses can play the Sonata essentially as Schubert wrote it.

Grieg wrote the Cello Sonata for his brother. The composer himself was critical of the sonata, believing that it recycled too many ideas from his previous works, but others were far more favorable in their reviews. Today the sonata is a considered a standard work in the string repertoire.

Orhon joined the UI faculty in fall 2002. His professional career spans a wide variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. Among other honors, he was the first double bass player ever to win the Grand Prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition. For more, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/STRGorhon.htm or http://www.volkanbass.com/.

An active solo pianist and chamber musician, Huckleberry joined the UI faculty in 2003. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France and the United States. He is also a prizewinner of numerous national and international piano competitions, including the first prizes in the German National Competition and the University of Michigan concerto competition. For more information, see: http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/PIANOhuckleberry.htm.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846; peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS of Volkan Orhon are available on his Web page: http://www.volkanbass.com/photos.htm